Definitions

Benny

Benny

[ben-ee]
Leonard, Benny, 1896-1947, American boxer, originally named Benjamin Leiner, b. New York City. Leonard, a master boxer and hard puncher, fought in 209 professional bouts, losing only 5. He was lightweight champion from 1917 until 1925, when he retired as undefeated champion. After a brief comeback in 1931-32, he became a boxing referee.
Benny, Jack, 1894-1974, American comedian, b. Waukegan, Ill., as Benjamin Kubelsky. His shows on radio (1932-55) and television (1950-65) made famous his miserliness, reproachful silences, and violin. His films include To Be or Not to Be (1942).
Andersen, Benny, 1929-, Danish writer and musician. Andersen is a noted jazz artist, composer, and writer. He has written novels, children's books, and screenplays, but is best known for his poetry, which is marked by humor and wordplay.

See study by L. A. Marx (1983).

Goodman, Benny (Benjamin David Goodman), 1909-86, American clarinetist, composer, and band leader, b. Chicago. Goodman studied clarinet at Hull House. In Chicago he had the opportunity to hear (and eventually to play beside) some of the outstanding jazz musicians of the era. He played the clarinet for many years in Chicago and later in California. In 1928 he went to New York City, where in 1934 he organized his own orchestra. In 1935 he formed the Benny Goodman trio with Gene Krupa and Teddy Wilson; it became a quartet in 1936 when Lionel Hampton joined it. Performing for radio, motion pictures, and records, Goodman's orchestra became nationally famous. After 1939 he became known as the King of Swing. In the 1950s Goodman's many tours abroad gained him international esteem. He also achieved success playing classical music for clarinet, particularly with the Budapest String Quartet. He commissioned Béla Bartók to compose Contrasts, for violin, clarinet, and piano, in 1938. Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and Morton Gould wrote music for him. Goodman wrote The Kingdom of Swing (1939) with Irving Kolodin.

See bio-discographies by D. R. Connor (1958 and 1969); study by J. L. Collier.

orig. Benjamin Kubelsky

(born Feb. 14, 1894, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died Dec. 27, 1974, Beverly Hills, Calif.) U.S. comedian. He took up the violin as a boy and played it in vaudeville from 1912. After discovering a talent for comedy while in the navy, he returned to vaudeville as a comedian. He made his film debut in 1927 and appeared in 18 films in the years 1930–45. His weekly Jack Benny Program on radio (1932–55) and television (1950–65) won loyal audiences, and he became famous for a unique comic style characterized by subtle verbal inflection, meaningful pauses, seriocomic violin playing, and the stage image of a vain, stingy man.

Learn more about Benny, Jack with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Benjamin David Goodman

(born May 30, 1909, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died June 13, 1986, New York, N.Y.) U.S. jazz clarinetist and leader of the most popular band of the swing era. Goodman formed a big band in 1934, using arrangements by Fletcher Henderson. The band's sensational broadcast from Los Angeles's Palomar Ballroom in 1935 is seen as the beginning of the swing era. Goodman's band featured trumpeters Bunny Berigan, Ziggy Elman, and Harry James and drummer Gene Krupa, all of whom would establish big bands of their own. Goodman's small group was among the first racially integrated ensembles known to a wide public. Goodman was also a noted classical clarinetist who championed 20th-century music. His virtuosity and immense popularity earned him the sobriquet “King of Swing.”

Learn more about Goodman, Benny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Benjamin Kubelsky

(born Feb. 14, 1894, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died Dec. 27, 1974, Beverly Hills, Calif.) U.S. comedian. He took up the violin as a boy and played it in vaudeville from 1912. After discovering a talent for comedy while in the navy, he returned to vaudeville as a comedian. He made his film debut in 1927 and appeared in 18 films in the years 1930–45. His weekly Jack Benny Program on radio (1932–55) and television (1950–65) won loyal audiences, and he became famous for a unique comic style characterized by subtle verbal inflection, meaningful pauses, seriocomic violin playing, and the stage image of a vain, stingy man.

Learn more about Benny, Jack with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Benjamin David Goodman

(born May 30, 1909, Chicago, Ill., U.S.—died June 13, 1986, New York, N.Y.) U.S. jazz clarinetist and leader of the most popular band of the swing era. Goodman formed a big band in 1934, using arrangements by Fletcher Henderson. The band's sensational broadcast from Los Angeles's Palomar Ballroom in 1935 is seen as the beginning of the swing era. Goodman's band featured trumpeters Bunny Berigan, Ziggy Elman, and Harry James and drummer Gene Krupa, all of whom would establish big bands of their own. Goodman's small group was among the first racially integrated ensembles known to a wide public. Goodman was also a noted classical clarinetist who championed 20th-century music. His virtuosity and immense popularity earned him the sobriquet “King of Swing.”

Learn more about Goodman, Benny with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Benny may refer to:

  • Benny (slang), a derogatory term used by residents of Jersey Shore towns for tourists that visit each summer
  • Benny (card game), a card used in trick-taking games
  • Benny Books, a series of two Children's literature novels, by Irish author Eoin Colfer

Benny may also refer to:

Benny is shortened version of the given name Benjamin, or less commonly Ebenezer or Bernice. It may refer to:

Benny is the surname of:

  • Jack Benny (1894–1974), American comedian, vaudeville performer, and radio, television, and film actor
  • D. C. Benny, American stand-up comedian

See also

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